Registering a birth - Frequently Asked QuestionsLast updated: 05 January 2014 18:24 UK
Parents have 42 days (six weeks) in which to register their newborn baby’s birth. They are obliged by law to register the baby in the place it was born.
Below is information about registering a baby born in Portsmouth.
The process is slightly different to register a stillborn baby.
Where can I register a birth?
Register babies born in Portsmouth is Milldam House, Burnaby Road, Portsmouth, PO1 3AF. Call 023 9275 6597 to make an appointment to register a birth. Opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 4.30pm.If it would be difficult to come to the register office in Portsmouth, you can register a birth in registry offices in Fareham, Havant, Gosport or Petersfield. Birth certificates will be issued at the same time in these offices. They all have an appointment system, so please contact them first on 0845 603 5637.
You can give information for the registration to any other register office in England or Wales, and they will post the information to us to register the birth. Portsmouth register office will send you your documents once we have registered the birth.
Who can register a baby's birth?
Parents must register their baby's birth themselves – they cannot ask a relative or friend to do it for them. If English is not the parents' first language, they are welcome to ask a relative or friend to come with them to help with the registration.
If the mother and father are married to each other at the time of the baby’s birth, either parent may register the baby.
If the mother and father were not married to each other at the time of the baby’s birth, only the mother may register the birth. She is not obliged to include the father’s details.
If the father is also present at the time of the registration, his details can also be entered in the register. This gives the father parental responsibility for the baby. If the father’s details are not entered at the time of registration it may be possible for this to be done at a later date.
There is more information on Gov.uk about registering a birth, including recording two female parents on a child's birth certificate.
If you need further information, please contact Portsmouth register office.
What information is needed to register a birth?
The table below shows the information the Registrar needs when you come to register a birth:
Father or second parent
(if these details are being entered in the register)
|General||If the parents were married to each other or in a civil partnership at the time of the birth, the registrar will ask for the date of the marriage or civil partnership|
Is there a charge for a birth certificate when I register a birth?
After registering a birth, you will be given a birth certificate free of charge showing the baby's details. This is known as a 'short certificate'. The short certificate doesn't show the parent's details. Parents' details appear on a full birth certificate, which is a complete copy of the entry in the register. The child will need a full birth certificate to, for example, apply for a passport or open a bank account.
Full certificates at the time of registering the baby's birth cost £4. Additional certificates bought after the event cost £10. You can also order commemorative certificates. Gov.uk has more information about birth certificates.
Can I change my child's first name?
To change your child's first name or names within 12 months of the birth registration date, just complete a form at the register office and the original birth registration will be amended. You can then buy certified copies from this amended registration.
If the child has been baptised in the Christian faith within the 12 month period after birth registration, you can take a form from the register office to be completed by a minister in the church where the child was baptised.
Can I change my child's surname?
If the parents were not married to each other at the time of the birth and the father did not attend with the mother to register the baby, it is possible to re-register the birth at any time to include the father's details in the registration and change the surname of the child. The parents fill in a form available from the register office. The easiest way for the birth to be re-registered is for both parents to attend the register office together.
Once the child has been registered with the father's surname, only a statutory declaration or deed poll can revert the child to the mother's surname. The original birth registration does not change. Instead, the statutory declaration (see 'What is a statutory declaration?' below) or deed poll document is attached to the original birth certificate to provide evidence that the child is being brought up in a surname different to that recorded in the birth registration.
If the parents have married each other since the birth was registered, the child should be re-registered to accurately record the current legal status. The register office can provide a form to be signed by both parents. Either parent can attend the register office with the completed form and a copy of the marriage certificate. The birth will then be re-registered and the child's surname changed, for example to the father’s surname or become double-barrelled.
You can buy a certified copies of the re-registered birth registration or a certificate of an amended entry from the registrar. There is no charge for re-registration.
There is more information on adding a father's name to a birth certificate on Gov.uk.
What is a statutory declaration?
It is a declaration or oath signed in front of a solicitor or other person able legally to witness an oath, acknowledging that you are the parent of the child. Either parent can make a statutory declaration. Alternatively either parent can seek a court order naming the father.
In these cases the birth will be registered again and certified copies of the re-registered birth can be bought from the registrar.
For more information on any of the above questions, email the Portsmouth register office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 023 92829041.
To make an appointment to register a birth, call 023 9275 6597.
The Portsmouth register office is at Milldam House, Burnaby Road, Portsmouth, PO1 3AF. Opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 4.30pm.